Manchester United handed the 2017/18 Premier League title to rivals Manchester City after losing 1-0 at home to West Bromwich Albion.
The victory at the Old Trafford was only the Baggies’ fourth win of the season and isn’t likely to save them in their quest for survival.
Many questions have been asked of United why they can beat Manchester City away one week before losing at home to Albion another week, while the Midlands outfit have been criticised themselves for not producing more performances like this.
Manchester United’s performance was unimpressive
Manchester United will have expected to see past the Baggies after earning a surprise 3-2 derby win over Manchester City the previous week. However, their performance against West Brom was appalling.
The likes of Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez struggled to replicate their performance from the Manchester derby. Pogba found himself hauled off in the second half by Jose Mourinho. Alexis was ineffectual.
Jose Mourinho‘s three-man midfield struggled against the Baggies, lacking sufficient penetration which saw them thwarted by Albion’s defence.
Darren Moore keeps West Brom survival hopes alive
Albion caretaker manager Darren Moore masterminded a fantastic result at Old Trafford and has had a positive approach since taking over the club.
West Brom played out a 1-1 draw with Swansea City before their shock win in Manchester with just a third of the possession.
Albion’s late goal from Jay Rodriguez gave hope to the supporters that they are still fighting for survival. It may be too late, but they can still finish with 36 points to stay up if results go their way.
The Midlands outfit have a tough run-in – Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace and Newcastle United – but they still have a glimmer of hope.
Defeat could harm United ahead of FA Cup clash
Manchester United are in a battle with Liverpool for second place, but the Red Devils are also fighting for the FA Cup. Mourinho’s side face Tottenham in the semi-finals on April 21, which is their last chance not to end the season trophyless.
United handed City the league title, suffered a quarter-final defeat to Bristol City in the League Cup and were eliminated in the Champions League by Sevilla. The FA Cup is all they have left.
The loss to Albion won’t help morale around the camp, but Mourinho knows the importance of getting a result for the sake of silverware.